Happy New Year! (copyright Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Hearing Is A Function, Happiness Is A Feeling – Where Do They Meet?


French language McDonald's door sign

French language McDonald’s door sign (Photo credit: mechanikat)






Friends are surprised by the idea of speaking another language.  Hearing does not come into it as I forget about it.    At that moment, I am free and the key is to keep that feeling going.


Life throws obstacles at us to keep us interested.    To tweak that slightly, I think it’s the brain at work.  It can only act on what you think about and every time you look at something more than once, it looks for evidence to back up your thoughts.  You become more interested and suddenly you’re acting on it.  When everything seems to be going wrong, the more you think about it the worse it gets.


So tweak it. Something is going to catch your attention.  In my case it was going on a skiing holiday to France.  I got lost, but boarded a bus and could chat in French to the bus driver and half the passengers!  None of them knew the place I was looking for, but there was a Tourist Office near one passenger’s stop and she took me in there.  They were instantly disapproving, but it turned out to be because I was wearing ski boots indoors.  If you’ve ever worn them, you’ll know it’s difficult to forget legs bent forward in a reinforced boot to mid-calf and less a walk than a kicking lollop.  I wondered if I would hear them and they were worried about their floors!  The holiday company was not in the directory and in the end  I  got the bus back to where I started.  The Ski Rep rang back as I was on the way to my first sit-in at the ski hire shop and gave me landmarks for the ten-minute walk.   Problem solved.   Oddly it was harder to follow directions than to speak French.  I had the best holiday ever and I found myself applying for jobs with French.


At any point in my adventure I could have changed my mind and gone off on another path.  It was not the right or wrong way; it was just a path.   When relaxed it was easy to hear  and communicate.  Not fighting the issue was the best chance of finding the way home.


Things happen, accidents or otherwise to break up a life and it is difficult to take the next step.  It may be slower but I am convinced that thinking about happy times, happy people, art, music, places will create happy memories.  You can pull those out any time and think about them: instant happiness creator.


Happy Easter


Debbie Jeffrey


‘Join That Conversation’






If you’re interested, on Ebay

SR West Country No 34027 Taw Valley disguised ...

SR West Country No 34027 Taw Valley disguised as 34045 (Photo credit: Peter Broster)

Fishing boats at Lyme Regis, West Country, UK

Fishing boats at Lyme Regis, West Country, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


We rarely talk about marketing yet we’re selling a small stock of hearing-assisted items on Ebay.  Our callsign, or name is deafhearingwellbeing.

All products are guaranteed.  Try them out.  You will know within a couple of hours  and definitely within a few days whether or not the equipment suits you.  Try it in all the scenarios you want.  Someone bought a Conversor Pro hearing loop over Christmas and he tried it out with the TV, meetings he attends regularly and even used the microphone attachment to talk comfortably with his wife.   He bought it.  After the guarantee end date, please feel free to come back to us.  Equipment for better hearing has to be right first time, as being hearing-assisted is enough bother.

Some people think ease with hearing equipment is about  age but I used to have a colleague who is 84* and hates old people!  It’s about flexibility of the mind and attitude matters.   Hey, we have plenty of that!

We’ve given advice and information for six years but are struggling with making a living in the niche.  If I can get the dratted ebook out, I will.  Negative feedback stopped us but hey, there are positive people.  A Social Worker in UK National Health Services said

“You tell it like it is.”

It’s the greatest compliment we have ever had.  Thank you, Anna in the West Country and thanks to Hannah as well from Southampton  and all of the Social Workers in Hampshire and Surrey whom we knew during work at deafPLUS.  You’re all heroes.

We’ll keep blogging, mostly because there are so many things happening in deafness and hearing and  we have incurable curiosity.

Best wishes to you for 2013,

Debbie Jeffrey

‘Join That Conversation’

Hearing Wellbeing


Top 10 Tracks of the Year – No Way To Live

Music is not a big part of my life as the lyrics are often too hard to hear.    I love this music, yet I’m going to have to listen five times to make out the words.  That will be a joy!  Thanks to Keelan Foley’s blog.

Top 10 Tracks of the Year – No Way To Live.

Uplift Your Hearts - London 2012 (CCL Hearing Wellbeing Copyright 2012)

Could Sign Language Stop ‘The Terrible Two’s’


Ever seen a two-year-old in a rage?  It’s funny, frustrating and infuriating in that order.  I remember my daughter refused to go up an escalator because she was watching something.  Having been carried up and put down at the top, she threw herself on the floor and hammered it with her hands and feet.  We burst out laughing!  So did the adults around us and she never did it again.  That was lucky compared to what some parents go through.

If she had been able to communicate her frustration, she may still have thrown herself on the floor.  Let’s concentrate on the frustration.  Small children communicate visually.  They take visual clues off adults, their environment and other children.  (Aagh, how do Nurseries cope with mass tantrums?)  Signing the phrase ‘I want to stay here’ is difficult.  If she had signs for ‘stay’ and ‘here’ she might have felt less frustration.  She still would not have got her way but she might have been less furious about it.  It is worth a try for the child’s sake and parents’ sanity!



Hearing those 3 little words

You know that thing we always have with people who mumble?

The one where you go … “What?”

After a repetition you get “Blah burble blah weekend.”

Okay, progress, he/she wants to take you out.  You smile and your loved one looks at you like you’re crazy.  You sigh.

“Excuse me?”

“It’s okay sweetheart  … “

You hear that and then a mumble again and you get, you got it, zilch, zero, nada.

What’s the third thing you say?  Is it “OMG!”   Or  “I’m freakin’ here!  Speak properly.”

Or is it the one-word version of ‘love you really’ even if he has the hearing awareness of a half-dead ant.   People with ordinary hearing have no clue.

I need the three words you say in ever-increasing irritation: What? Huh?. ..  I kinda wonder if OMG is disrespectful.     Comment here please.  It’s for the uh-e-book.  Hardest work ever, whoever says it’s easy, is not telling the truth!  If yours is chosen, we’ll fly you chocolate or word credit wherever you like.  If you’re in a faraway place, it might take a little longer.

Which words do you say?  In what order?  Your opinion?  Well they don’t come more qualified.  Thank you; it’s doing my head in trying to choose.

You know, we may never get it all down yet we will not let this thing beat us, right?  People type with pencils in their mouths as their hands are not working and I can’t string a sentence together with ten fingers!  You guys rock.

Can you see the birdie? Let it merge with the background like your tinnitus.

Steve the tetrapod and his stapes – *‘What we see is governed by what we expect to see’

Professor Jenny A Clack*  studies the dried-out, literally.  Dried out bones and it’s exciting because of what she found.  Like looking for a jigsaw piece, you know it’s there in front of you but you can’t find it amongst the others.   She found digits, loosely described as fingers which previously  had been thought of as a bone broken into three parts.

Using the ‘what if’ principle, what if they were paddles attached to the four limbs? It would explain how he could swim through swamps and move on land.  It was a phenomenal discovery.

Then she found a stapes, a tiny bone in the ear that conducts sound.  It had been overlooked by other palaeontologists, including her boss, who thought it was just part of the dust.  When she looked at it and didn’t understand, she wondered. …

The stapes did not look like the finely tuned ones found in humans.  It was the wrong shape for hearing and wouldn’t be able to filter sound.  Steve couldn’t hear!  Then she thought,

‘What was there to hear?’

There were no animals and no birds at that stage of evolution.   That means there was a time when hearing was not present because it was unnecessary.  Wow!

The onslaught of noise that our ears have to cope with today is enormous.  What if the stapes in human ears can develop a coating or harden and therefore be unable to conduct so much sound?  What if it is a protective mechanism against overloading the brain with information it doesn’t want?  Maybe hard-of-hearing is not a retrograde step. Maybe the process is not a negative at all.  It is evolution and we are at the forefront!

Professor Jenny Clack, who now has stacks of awards in palaeontology, took part in a TV programme from the BBC called ‘Beautiful Minds’.  She said:

‘What we see is governed by what we expect to see’.

Visual and hearing clues for lip-reading

Lip-reading ‘Glass of Ice’

read my lips

read my lips (Photo credit: Reza Vaziri)

Lip-reading ‘Glass of Ice’

Oops,  I realised you might not want to comment, so getting out the answer..  Usually it’ll be mid-week and Saturday.

The reply to ‘Hearing a Glass of Ice’ is that lip-readers don’t understand what’s been said 70% of the time.  Expect that when you are lip-reading anyone.  Don’t get hung up on it, as it is reassuring to know that other people have the same issue.  It came from the biggest UK D/deaf/hearing charity and has to be taken as a story as I don’t know what questions they asked to reach that conclusion; it might be higher than 70%.  Needs more investigation IMHO.     If you are registered as ‘hearing xxx’  with any Sensory Loss Team or often your Doctor,  you can ask for a Lip-speaker to be present in employment interviews, appraisals and hospital appointments.  It costs a lot so you could offer to read what they say off a laptop.

Some people are great at lip-reading and will get it right most of the time.  One guy, deaf from birth, said he couldn’t lip-read at all.  That was partly a confidence issue.  In Manchester, the moment the staff knew he was deaf, they looked straight at him and spoke clearly.  He was delighted!

Angle matters.  A deafened guy said he could lip-read when the person sat at right angles.  Have you tried to speak to someone while you’re doing that?  It’s really difficult.  The old natural action used to be to look at someone when you speak.  Now everyone is too ‘busy but we need it.  You could try lip-reading someone sitting sideways to you.  It’s a good way of observing and giving you a rest!

When you sit directly opposite someone to lip-read, all of their emotions are flung straight at you.   In the US and it’s slowly spreading to Europe, Counsellors are taught to sit slightly sideways to avoid getting all the emotions of their clients.  Look at movies where psychiatrists are.  They sit behind a huge desk or they sit behind a sofa- that would be useless wouldn’t it? 😉  How could you lip-read from behind lol?

There was the kindest, loveliest man once who was so friendly to every person.  He had no hearing from birth yet he never let it stop him and he started off conversations with strangers, always accompanied by that friendly smile.  He had to go into hospital and his daughter said she found a Doctor shouting at him.  He hadn’t come round from an operation because they weren’t using the right stimulus.  Shaker*?  Would that have worked?  Doctors need to know … and they need to be taught.  You’re best placed to tell them.  Well, he was in the hospital for two weeks, having every test imaginable.  No-one knew until he came out that he had been absolutely terrified.  He had no idea what the problem was, what the tests were for, or even if he was better now.   His ‘treatment’ is why the rest of us need to make people with ordinary hearing aware of the issues and how to solve them: different angles of sitting, lip-speaking, shaker and the biggie, kindness.

*Shakers – ring, flash, shake – TBB = to be blogged?

Repeat Ad Infinitum And Get Your Just Desserts!

Easter eggs // Ostereier

Easter eggs // Ostereier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


My Mum - egg agent

My Mum – egg agent (Photo credit: exfordy)

The fruit jelly with Prosecco  had not set overnight and having decided to make a quick Eve’s pudding instead, I grated the apple, weighed out flour sugar, butter and found we had no eggs.  Drat, round to neighbour, Margaret, who was out.  Dash back inside and ring up Mum.

“Can you bring some eggs?”

“I’ve got eggs.”

“No, some eggs, two, round here?”

Teen is grinning and waving arms around but I ignore him, regrettably.

“What sort of question is that?”

“It’s an egg question.  Is there some problem? If you don’t have any,  I can go next door.”

I do have other neighbours.  Quite what they will think of asking for something so specific, I don’t know.  I begin to imagine the scenario, when my mother says slowly,

“What sort of eggs?”

I’m thinking ‘egg-shaped‘ when I see Teen grinning.  I am just about to hand him the phone, as Mum also has bionic hearing when she says

“Do you mean ordinary?   I thought you meant chocolate eggs!”

It is Easter Sunday.   Needless to say, this joke was repeated around the family. As usual, Teen put the lid on it.

“But Mum you’re always saying that if someone doesn’t understand, you have to say it in a different way.”

I am, I say it, write it and quite obviously when in a panic, forget entirely!

Implant Compulsory For Mobile Phone Users

As part of a global initiative to cut background noise, it is announced today that all mobile phone users must have an implant if they want to talk on their phones  in a public place.

The implant consists of a tiny electrical circuit inserted under the skin above the ear*.  This will connect with the mobile when a call is made.  Sound is conducted through the skull and reportedly feels louder to  the person talking.  They speak  more quietly and reduction in the level of local background noise is noticeable.

Bone-anchored hearing-aids or BAHA are commonly used for people who cannot wear conventional hearing-aids.   Using existing technology means that the implants will be funded under current fiscal budgets.  For further details, please contact the Department for Corporate and Social Responsibility of any mobile phone company.

  • Please note this operation can only be performed by a qualified Audiological Surgeon

Hearing Wellbeing takes no responsibility for any action taken after reading this notice.

Posted at 00.30 hours GMT 1st April 2012

Tranquillity until you see the maverick HOH duck (copyright to Hearing Wellbeing 2012)

Thanking Facebook

Hearing Loop Conversor Pro

Conversor Pro Hearing Loop

‘Captcha’ is every webdeveloper’s nightmare, I’m reliably informed 😉

So thanks to Facebook for inventing the audio ‘captcha‘.  Trying to get into Facebook made frustrated tears well up, but we all have our frustrations, right?

So thanks to Faceboook for highlighting a huge, global problem: the waves of background noise that wash over all of us daily.

The  hearing-assisted can sort it.  What about the poor old ordinary hearing people?

Telephone manufacturers are running for cover.

“There’s a microphone right next to your mouth.” the sales guy said.

Only if your phone is long and fits the gap between your ear and your mouth!  It should.  That’s one way to stop people shouting into their mobiles.  It could also look extremely cool if you don’t mind wearing plastic on your face half the day.  Oops, sounds a bit like wearing a hearing-aid.